is the central and eastern part of Eurasia, comprising approximately fifty countries.
Asia is joined to Africa
by the Isthmus of Suez
and to Europe
by a long border generally following the Ural Mountains
The mean elevation
of the continent is 950 m, the largest of any in the world. The plateau and mountainous areas broadly sweep SW-NW across Asia, climaxing in the high Tibetan Plateau
, rising to the highest peaks in the world in the Himalaya
. To the north west lie plains, while to the south lie the geologically distinct areas of the Arabian peninsula
, Indian subcontinent and Malay peninsula. Large numbers of islands lie south east of the continent.